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Özcan Deniz Makyajsız

Nedim Hazar was not aware about the significance of Özcan Deniz in Turkey’s present-day popular culture, when he first met him during the shooting for another musical documentary about Mercan Dede (see this site). Having lived in Germany for the last 20 years, Hazar did not know that Özcan Deniz was an amalgam of Elvis Presley and George Clooney for Turkish people. Özcan Deniz of Kurdish origin had begun his career as an Arabesque music performer, a musical style despised many Turkish intellectuals, and had dug out his way through a landscape of innumerous TV soaps to become a respected actor and performer of more ambitious pop music. 

Once having found this out, Hazar strove to realise a documentary about Özcan Deniz, but was disillusioned to find out that a box office hit feature length musical film about this poor to rich story had already been released by the famous Turkish film director Ezel Akay, a film called “Where Are You Firuze?”.

Hazar came across Deniz again, while producing for the “1 Giant Leap” project of Duncan Bridgeman and Jamie Catto in Turkey and decided to go for it. Out came a portrait of an artist and a critical survey of Turkish popular culture, including soaps, films, concerts, commercials and the like. 

The film develops around two female fans of the Turkish George Clooney. One is the CEO of the Turkish branch of a German textile and clothing distributor, the other a villager in the outmost Eastern mountanious region of Turkey, Kars. Both fans agreed about how handsome he was and how he was “one of us”. 

The original title of this documentary “Özcan Deniz Unplugged” turned out to be unsuitable in the Turkish language, since there was no exact expression for the term “unplugged”. Özcan and Nedim finally agreed on “Özcan Deniz Without Makeup”.


Nedim Hazar Film ve Mzik Yapımı

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